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Austin Reaves: The Rise No One Expected

How did an undrafted player from Oklahoma become a starter on a championship contender in just 2 years? Austin Reaves is the story everyone wants to hear and everyone wants to be. After his Game 1 performance against the Grizzlies, Austin Reaves's name is now on the map.

Austin Reaves in a game against the Phoenix Suns
via Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times

Austin Reaves started as a two-way player after being a Summer League standout. His first year had some ups and downs with inconsistent playing time, but he showed he had potential in the last game of the year against the Denver Nuggets. He ended on a high note with a 31-point triple-double and also had 16 rebounds and 10 assists. Coming into this season, he was a big part of the rotation and has shown to be a good scorer, defender, and playmaker, and he will only be getting better.

via AP Photo / Ashley Landis

Reaves's star is growing, shown by his insertion into the starting lineup and he has been the 3rd best player on a championship contender on some nights. LeBron James and Anthony Davis, two of the league's premier stars, gave the keys to Reaves in crunch-time, while they just watched. Reaves scored 7 straight points when it was 113-112 with 3:29 left. His scoring outburst during this run put the game out of reach.

Austin Reaves in a game against the Orlando Magic
via Kevin Kolczynski / Associated Press

Austin Reaves is a restricted free agent this summer, and he'll be worth whatever the Lakers give him or any offer sheet that another team gives him (which the Lakers should match, no debate.) Laker fans may riot if they don't pay Reaves. It would be even worse than when we let Alex Caruso walk for nothing, even though he wanted to come back. Reaves will get better and as he said, he's him.

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